Excerpt from Chronicles of the Tombs: A Select Collection of Epitaphs
It is remarkable that so little has been written, in the English language, on Epitaphial Inscriptions. With the exception of a short Essay, by Dr. Johnson, there is scarcely anything to be found in relation to the subject - nothing at all approaching to the character of a history. I have, therefore, thought it not unworthy of attention to trace Monumental Inscriptions generally, from the earliest period to the present time, and have endeavoured to make such a Collection of Epitaphs belonging to our own country as should mark the diversity of taste prevailing at different periods of our history. This, I believe, to be effected in the following pages. It has been my purpose to present the examples as they were originally written, and are in many instances still to be found, not allowing myself to make any alteration either in regard to their composition, arrangement, orthography, or punctuation. In this respect I have followed in the steps of a contributor to Heame's "Collection of Curious Discourses," in which, upon the publication of some epitaphs, he observes, "I will here but briefly collect some fewe which are remarkable, partly for their antiquity, partly for their brevytie, partly for their rarenesse, partly for their excellencye, partly to shewe the manner of stile of those ages in which they were composed, and partly to recreate the mynde with the simplicytie of their inventions."
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